After 45 years of service to Delaware Technical Community College, Dr. Orlando J. George, Jr. announced his intention to step down as president and retire on June 30, 2014.
Dr. George said in a special announcement to trustees, colleagues, students, alumni, and friends , “It has been my privilege and honor to lead this great college of ours for almost 19 years. I have loved every minute of serving as president because of the many opportunities it has given me to help make a difference in the lives of others...our students, our Delaware Tech family and our Delaware community. There can be no doubt that Delaware Tech raises the standard of living for Delawareans and opens doors for its graduates.”
Governor Jack Markell said, “The strength of community colleges is a major factor in the strength of our workforce, and Delaware has benefited tremendously from Lonnie’s innovative and energetic leadership at Delaware Tech. The programs he has overseen have given countless Delawareans a better opportunity to further their education and pursue good jobs, and provided businesses with a resource to train quality employees. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy will continue to benefit our state for years to come.”
Mr. Mark Stellini, Chairman of the Board of Trustees stated, “Lonnie’s vision, commitment to the community college mission, and deep caring for the students has been a driving force behind the College’s last 19 years of accomplishments, and he has prepared us for continued success in the future. We clearly would not be where we are without his leadership.”
Under Dr. George’s leadership, Delaware Tech’s commitment to providing access, opportunity, excellence and hope for Delawareans was evidenced by many significant achievements, including: substantial growth in financial aid, from $4.5 million to over $37 million which enables nearly 70% of our graduates to complete their studies debt free; expansion of articulation agreements with four-year institutions from 10 to 144; increase in nationally-accredited programs from 13 to 64; and growth of Delaware Tech’s Educational Foundation assets from $5 million to over $20 million.
During his tenure, the One-College Governance Structure was established to create a system of shared governance, participation, responsibility and accountability in decision-making processes that were collegewide in scope. In addition, several programs were created to recognize faculty, staff and administrators including an annual Employee Recognition Event, Excellence in Teaching, Service, and Student Success Award programs, and a Leadership Development Program.
In response to the state’s economic priorities, the Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership was established in 1999 to support small- and medium-sized manufacturers. In addition, the College recently secured grants to fund the construction of three new energy education facilities and committed to a 20% reduction in energy use by 2020.
During Dr. George’s tenure, the College was recognized with numerous national awards including: 1999 National Alliance of Business Community College of the Year Award; 2000 Bellwether Award for Educational Technology Certificate Program; 2007 News Journal Best in the Business Top Workplaces Award; and 2009 Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Award for assessment of student learning.
“The greatest blessing of serving as president is the outstanding and extraordinary group of people with whom I have had the privilege to associate, collaborate and partner: Our talented and caring team of trustees, faculty, staff and administrators; our students who come to us with hope in their eyes for a better future; and the many generous and supportive partners, legislators, business, education and community leaders, donors, and alumni in our community who believe in our mission of giving students access to their future. Every one of them should feel ownership in the many successes, awards and recognitions the College enjoys, and they have all been partners in the success of our students and Delaware Tech. Together we have created a set of values and a culture which provides for a safe, supportive, nurturing environment – a caring environment which respects and values people,” said Dr. George.
Chairman Stellini stated that the Board of Trustees will conduct an external search for a new president. Details of the search will be announced at a later date.